Top 6 Best Whitewater Kayak Paddles | 2020 Reviews

Kayaking is an enjoyable activity. Along with a high-quality kayak, you should also consider buying a durable and reliable paddle. Choosing the best whitewater kayak paddle to use allows you to propel your kayak even for hours with less fatigue and strain. It also ensures that your paddle will not break while you are in the middle of your adventure.

However, paddles come in different varieties and sizes. Not all are durable and cheap. That is why you should know how to select the best one to use, depending on where you will use it to maximize your budget.

After all, you do not want to spend more if you can settle for less but can still do the job. You also do not want to buy a cheap but poor-quality paddle if what you need is a durable and efficient paddle for a whitewater adventure.  

Top 6 Best Whitewater Kayak Paddles Review

This section will introduce you to some of the best whitewater kayak paddles on the industry. You will know the reasons why most kayakers love them.

  1. Bending Branches Angler Classic 
  2. Werner Camano Premium Fiberglass 
  3. Werner Sidekick Whitewater Paddle
  4. Werner Skagit Hooked Kayak Paddle
  5. Werner Tybee Carbon Fiber Paddle
  6. Bending Branches Angler Ace 

#1. Bending Branches Angler Classic 

Bending Branches Angler Classic

Specifications

  • Weight (grams): 53
  • Length (centimeter): 230 to 245, 240 to 255
  • Blade Construction Material: Fiberglass nylon blades
  • Blade Size (centimeter): 20.32
  • Shaft Construction Material: Carbon

By using the Bending Branches Angler Classing, you will feel like a pro. This product can have a gorgeous basswood blade, and it is also more flexible than the others.

Bending Branches created this product mainly for angling. It has a lightweight shaft and has Rockguard tip protection that protects the vulnerable areas from wearing. Because of this technology, your paddle can last six times longer. 

This product has a two-part design with durable drip rings. It also has a built-in ruler.

ProsCons
Useful lure retrieval notchSome people do not like the placement of the lure retrieval
Lightweight
Affordable
Durable

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#2. Werner Camano Premium Fiberglass 

Werner Camano Premium Fiberglass

Specifications

  • Weight (grams): 28
  • Length (centimeter): 230, 240
  • Blade Construction Material: Fiberglass
  • Blade Size (centimeter): 16
  • Shaft Construction Material: Carbon

The Werner Camano Premium Fiberglass features the adjustable ferrule system that locks this two-piece paddle securely. Because of its two-piece feature, it is collapsible for transport.

This product also has a ribless back and asymmetrical dihedral shape that provide smooth stroke. It has a light swing weight that saves you from fatigue from long hours of paddling.

ProsCons
Available in different colors and designsExpensive
Adjustable length

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#3. Werner Sidekick Whitewater Paddle

Werner Side Kick Paddle

Specifications

  • Weight (grams): 1006 for the straight shaft and 1077 for bent shaft
  • Length (centimeter): 191, 194, 197, 200
  • Blade Construction Material: Fiberglass
  • Blade Size (centimeter): 48
  • Shaft Construction Material: fiberglass for straight shaft and carbon for bent shaft

The Werner Sidekick Whitewater Paddle has large blades that provide its power and responsiveness. It also has a 30-degree offset blade that eliminates wind resistance.

This paddle has a neutral bent shaft that allows you to properly position your hands for better control, comfort, and balance. It helps prevents your wrist from experiencing fatigue and strain.

The down-turned blades are more effective and generating more power to propel because it can catch more water. It is available in different sizes, whether you are short or tall.

It is best to use this paddle for rivers that are class three to four.

ProsCons
Reduced wind resistance
Possible bisphenol A exposure
Down-turned blades
Lightweight
Durable

#4. Werner Skagit Hooked Kayak Paddle

Werner Skagit Hooked Kayak Fishing Paddle

Specifications

  • Weight (grams): 992
  • Length (centimeter): 230, 240, 250, 260, 240 to 260
  • Blade Construction Material: Fiberglass-reinforced nylon
  • Blade Size (centimeter): 49
  • Shaft Construction Material: Fiberglass and carbon

The Werner Skagit Hooked Kayak Paddle is a mid-sized type with a low-angle blade that allows you to compensate for different paddling styles. It has some of the features of the high-end paddles without causing you to break the bank.

This product is ideal for beginners who want to experience kayaking and fishing.

This paddle has injection-molded blades that provide stable stroke and catch. It has a fiberglass-reinforced construction, making it durable but affordable.

It uses Smart-View technology.

This paddle is two pieces of a paddle that look like one. This product allows you to adjust the offset and feather angle.

It also uses a LeverLock technology that allows you to adjust your paddle’s length at five increments.

ProsCons
Reasonable price
Shaft gets hot fast
Comfortable
Adjustable
Lightweight

#5. Werner Tybee Carbon Fiber Paddle

Werner Tybee CF Paddle

Specifications

  • Weight (grams): 1006
  • Length (centimeter): 200 to 220, 220 to 240, 240 to 260
  • Blade Construction Material: Carbon-reinforced nylon
  • Blade Size (centimeter): 43
  • Shaft Construction Material: Fiberglass and carbon

The Werner Tybee Carbon Fiber Paddle is environment-friendly because of its carbon fiber reinforced construction. Aside from its recycled feature, it is also wear-resistant. It can also make paddling effortless.

What makes the Tybee model even better is that it is budget-friendly, but it can still provide the best performance.

This product has high-angled blades and adjustable size range for different paddlers. It has a dihedral shape for smooth paddling.

You can also select between a standard or small diameter for the shaft.

ProsCons
Excellent entry-level paddle for mild whitewaterThe two sections are difficult to separate sometimes
Exceptionally adjustablePossible BPA and Vinyl chloride exposure
Lightweight

#6. Bending Branches Angler Ace 

“Bending

Specifications

  • Weight (grams): 907
  • Length (centimeter): 220, 240, 250, 260
  • Blade Construction Material: Carbon-reinforced nylon
  • Blade Size (centimeter): 44.45
  • Shaft Construction Material: Carbon

The Bending Branches Angler Ace only has one color, but it has an excellent performance. The company built this paddle for the fishermen to use, but it is durable too.

It has a built-in hook retrieval system that can help you when you lose your lure.

The Angler Ace has an oval grip that provides a comfortable hold. It also has a shaft ruler and three-hole ferrule adjustment.

ProsCons
Shaft rulerSome users do not like the hook removal
LightweightSlippery when wet
Durable

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Top Pick – Our Favorite Whitewater Kayak Paddle

There are tons of products on the market, and everyone claims to be the best. This article listed some of the best products that most consumers love to save you some headaches.

What stands among them the most is the Werner Sidekick Whitewater Paddle, which is a heavy-duty type. It has the ideal construction that a whitewater paddle should have, because of its fiberglass construction for its straight shaft and carbon for its bent shaft variety.

It also has an ergonomic design that reduces the tendency for you to feel strain or fatigue on your arms and wrists.


Best Whitewater Kayak Paddle Brands

Even though the mentioned products favor most people, there is still no assurance that you will like them. It is always advisable to explore more products if you are still in doubt. The best place to start your search is by searching through reliable brands.

Here are some of the brands offering the best kayak paddle.

Werner Paddles

The founding of the Werner Paddles was on New Year’s day in 1944. Because of this, you can already tell that it is a reliable brand because of its long experience.

According to Werner Paddles, the company’s foundation centers around the experiences and memories of the Furrer family. Werner Furrer Sr. wanted to design better paddles because he wished the other people to experience what he experienced with his family.

Thus, the company made it into a mission to create paddles that give the best performance. It also gives back to its employees and customers by treating them with the utmost respect.

The company also guarantees that it creates its products with excellent attention to detail.

Aside from paddles for kayak, Werner Paddles sells the ones for touring, SUP, canoeing, rafting, and more.

Bending Branches

In 1982, a whitewater canoe enthusiast, Dale Kicker, collaborated with a flat-water racer, Ron Hultman. The two created the first canoe paddle and started the Bending Branches. Its products have helped people go to the places of their dream, which is the company’s motivation.

According to it, it spends hours testing, designing, and perfecting paddles, and never stops its continuous improvement. Thus, this brand claims that its paddles have a 0.03 percent breakage rate.

Aside from kayak paddles, the company also sells paddles for canoe, SUP, and the like.

Aqua-Bound

It all started when Joe Matska broke the graduation gift he received in 1973, which was a kayak paddle. Because of this, Matuska used his knowledge in medical microbiology to fix this broken paddle.

In 1991, he founded the Aqua-Bound, and it quickly became famous. It claims that it was the first to introduce the gas-assist paddle blades that make the paddles light and durable.

In 2008, Branches LLC bought the business. Branches LLC claims that it still holds the same passion of Matuska. Aside from kayak paddles, this company also sells SUP, packraft, whitewater paddles, and more.


Types of Whitewater Kayak Paddles

Now that you know what brands to look for when searching for a new kayak paddle, you should know that it comes in different varieties. It is crucial to learn the differences among them to make the most out of your purchase.

Here are the different types.

Performance Type

This paddle-type aims to enhance the kayaker’s performance. It is durable and light, but also capable of withstanding strong currents and waves. It also has a low wind resistance.

Whitewater Type

This type of paddle is exceptionally durable. It has to be so that it can withstand the hard knocks that you encounter in whitewater areas.

Aside from durability, this paddle also cuts water easily. This paddle typically has thick shafts and wide blades.

Recreational Type

This type of paddle is heavy and cheap. It sounds that it is unideal, but it will save you a lot of money if you are only up for a short trip or if you will only use your paddle once in calm water.

Touring Type

This type of paddle provides comfort. It allows you to paddle for hours.

This paddle type is lightweight, durable, and ergonomic. It is best to use in calm or slow-flowing waters.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Whitewater Kayak Paddle

Besides the different types of kayak, you should also know the various considerations when buying a whitewater paddle.

Size

The typical size of a whitewater kayak paddle ranges from 210 to 260. Some come in adjustable sizes.

To select the best size, you should consider two things: the size of the kayak and your torso’s height. Wide kayaks need longer paddles so you can reach the water quickly. Sea kayaks need a short paddle.

Construction

Paddles use different construction materials, which may be either fiberglass or carbon. Typically, kayak paddles have a double blade because you need to raise the edge higher.

The affordable ones have nylon or plastic construction.

The ones with a fiberglass construction provide a better performance, but they are expensive. If you are willing to sacrifice the lightness for your budget, you can go for the ones with aluminum shafts. The aluminum construction is durable and affordable.

The best construction material is carbon fiber because it is lightweight. However, it is also expensive.

Blade Shape

The blade’s shape can affect your paddling performance. It comes in two types: short and flat and long and skinny. The sharp and flat is ideal if you want to have more strength to steer. It is the best option to use for high-angle paddling that requires the blades to have more energy.

On the other hand, the long and skinny is the better option for a high angle when you are paddling calm and deep water.

Shaft Design

The shaft part of the paddle allows you to control it. It comes in two types, straight or bent.

The straight one is cheap, but it is better to use if you can provide strong strokes against powerful currents. The bent type is expensive, but it gives you comfort because of the natural grip. As a result, there will be less strain for you.

Also, the shaft comes in standard or small diameter. The standard one is the most common. However, if you have little hands, you will find that using a shaft with a small diameter more comfortable.

Feathering

Feathering is ideal for the reduction of wind resistance when the blade is in the air.

Thus, the paddles typically have offset, which can be comfortable to the wrist, which is different from matched blades.

As for the feathering, you should select the one that suits your paddling style.

Pieces

Many whitewater kayak paddles are collapsible, which is an ideal feature when you want to save space. However, it does not mean that the single piece is inferior. It is typically the lightest and the strongest compared to the collapsible ones.

Type of Water

Because you will be using your kayak and paddle in the water, you should also be aware of what kind of paddles go best to a specific type of water condition.

If you kayak in a lake or rivers, you can settle for a cheap but durable paddle if you are only aiming for a short exploration. However, if you have to encounter tons of rocks, you should choose a more heavy-duty option.

If you kayak on flowing water, you should select a lightweight paddle because it reduces fatigue. Many kayakers use carbon shaft and responsive paddles for this purpose to reduce weight.

If you paddle in whitewater, you should go for a durable and maneuverable paddle. It should also be able to cut the water effortlessly.

Choose the one that has carbon or fiberglass construction on the shaft. It is because your paddle will be moving against the water flow, and you do not want to break it.


Conclusion

Looking at the kayak paddles, you will think that they are simple. However, its construction, durability, length, and built can affect your performance tremendously. Because of this, you should pick the best product that is best for you.

You have learned some of the best products on the market that you might want to consider. One of them is the Werner Sidekick Whitewater Paddle, which is desirable for its large blades, durability, efficiency, and responsiveness.

Suppose you cannot choose among these mentioned paddles. You have also learned some of the factors to consider when buying a paddle. It helps your search for the best one to use on your adventure.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How to Know the Paddle’s Suitable Length for Me?

A: You should consider the width of your kayak. As mentioned, if it is broad, you should use a longer paddle. If it is a sea kayak, use a shorter one. You should also take your torso’s length into account. To know it, you should sit on a chair and measure your nose’s distance to your chair level, which is the torso’s length. Manufacturers have charts that you can use as a reference to determine the best size of paddles to use based on your torso’s length.

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